Nine Shrines – Retribution Theory (Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group)

Have Attack Attack! done more for metalcore than any other band out there? The early 2000s pioneers have helped spawn bands like Of Mice & Men and Beartooth, and now they can add Nine Shrines to that list.

Drummer Andrew Wetzel may originally been paired with former OM&M screamer Austin Carlile as well as Caleb Shomo, but he’s taking his own path now and this band is his latest musical endeavour.

Their debut EP, Misery, came out in 2017 and now they’ve followed it up with the massive Retribution Theory. This band are categorised as a metalcore band, but that’s not really the whole story. Nine Shrines lack the gravely, dirty vocals of true masters of the genre like Bury Tomorrow, While She Sleeps and Of Mice & Men.

Rather, they got more of a traditional metal sound: big guitar riffs, clean vocals, rolling drums – but with a few neck snapping breakdowns thrown in, especially on Chain Reaction.

Nine Shrines have already shared a stage with bands like Shinedown and that comparison instantly makes sense. Song like Ringworm bridge the gap between Nine Shrines and their heavier brothers, it’s a gateway drug into the world of Parkway Drive but falls just short of being a guttural, growling, predatory beast.

Dead is a spectacularly hate-filled riot of a song and when Chris Parketny yells ‘ignition’ the ensuing musical violence is guaranteed to leave elbows flying left, right and centre across pits the world over.

This band want to take aim against the cookie-cutter world of rock music and they want to be the band that provides a unique experience for their fans. Retribution Theory is one of those albums that puts it all out there, it doesn’t hold back.

And for being cookie-cutter? Nine Shrines have got their finger in so many genre-pies they definitely can’t be described as boring either.